The Silk Road and the Grand Canal have been recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as World Heritage Sites.
The recognition, announced during the 38th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Doha, Qatar, on Sunday, brings to 47 the number of World Heritage sites in China, next only to Italy’s 50, am730 reported on Monday.
The application for Silk Road to be recognized as a World Heritage site was jointly made by China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The Silk Road served as major corridor for trade and cultural exchanges between Asia and Europe dating back to 2,000 years ago. Of the 33 heritage points along the road, 22 are situated in China, eight in Kazakhstan and three in Kyrgyzstan, Xinhua News Agency reported.
The Grand Canal, which connects Beijing to Hangzhou in Zhejiang province, was built 2,400 years ago to connect Yangtze River and Huaihe River and was further extended in later dynasties. It is the oldest and longest artificial canal in the world and has already been included in the International Canal Monuments List.
As part of its efforts to secure the UNESCO World Heritage recognition, the government has been rehabilitating the Grand Canal for the past eight years, cleaning up and removing blockages along the passageway.
The listing is expected to bolster Zhejiang’s tourism industry, and provide a good reminder of the importance of the country’s cultural heritage, the report said.
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